A private equity consortium is threatening to abandon a £1.4bn deal to shake up Italian football’s broadcast rights amid uncertainty over the intentions of some of the league’s top clubs.
Sky News has learnt that a group of investors including Advent International and CVC Capital Partners wrote to Serie A’s 20 clubs late last week to say that they would withdraw their offer without immediate ratification of the agreement.
The consortium, which also includes FSI, an Italian fund, agreed a deal with Serie A to create a new broadcast rights entity last autumn.
If completed, the transaction would pave the way for a new approach to media coverage of players such as Juventus’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who plays for AC Milan.
The consortium would own roughly 10% of the new commercial entity.
Sources said that clubs including Juventus and Internazionale – which shares the San Siro stadium with AC Milan – had opted against voting for the deal with the consortium at a meeting last Thursday.
A further summit has been scheduled for this week, and sources said that without immediate approval of the deal, the consortium was likely to walk away.
Sports industry figures said it was unclear whether the decision of clubs such as Juventus not to give explicit backing to the consortium’s proposal related to administrative concerns.
One executive said it seemed likely that ongoing discussions about a new European super league format – revealed by Sky News last October – are likely to have been a factor in the delay.
None of those involved in the deal could be reached for comment on Sunday.
Source: Sky News
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